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Is Running A Skill?

Posted Jan 16 2009 2:20pm

I've been reading lately that "running is a skill".  This implies that running is a special human motion that must be practiced until it is mastered.  It puts it in the same category as activities like tennis and golf, where practice is needed to learn the movements.

But isn't running part of our evolutionary heritage?  After all, no one needs to teach children how to run - it's a natural movement.  Besides, what did runners do before all the modern training aids, like books, DVDs, and training clinics?  They are plenty of fast, efficient runners that never had any formal training.

What's likely is that everyone has the natural capacity to run, but modern society has interfered with this process.  It could be modern shoes with large, padded heels.  It could be the sedentary nature of today's lifestyle which weakens key muscle groups.  It could be that if a person stops running for a number of years (which probably never happened in Stone Age life, and hence it is a novel situation), they lose the feel for how to do it.  Whatever the cause, modern life is interfering with our natural capacity to run, but that does not mean it is a foreign movement.

I refuse to believe that running is a complex skill that must be taught, though some people make it out to be that way.  Whether they're doing this just to line their pockets, or whether they honestly believe in their system, I don't know.  In the past few posts, I have discussed running as a pulling motion as opposed to a pushing motion.  What if relearning to run just means focusing on pulling instead of pushing? 

Running can't be that difficult - children do it with no thought at all.  It's the intelligent adults who make it so difficult. 

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